Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: July 2009, Vol. 79, No. 1

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: July 2009, Vol. 79, No. 1

Article excerpt

What's Metaphysical About Metaphysical Necessity? ROSS P. CAMERON

This paper begins by contrasting three approaches one can take to the distinction between the essential and accidental properties: an ontological, a deflationary, and a mind-dependent approach. It then goes on to apply that distinction to the necessary a posteriori, and defend the deflationist view. Finally, it applies the distinction to modal truth in general and argues that the deflationist position lets us avoid an otherwise pressing problem for the actualist: the problem of accounting for the source of modal truth.

The Murderer at the Door: What Kant Should Have Said, MICHAEL CHOLBI

Embarrassed by the apparent rigorism Kant expresses so bluntly in "On a Supposed Right to Lie," numerous contemporary Kantians have attempted to show that Kant's ethics can justify lying in specific circumstances, in particular, when lying to a murderer is necessary in order to prevent him from killing another innocent person. The aim of this paper is to improve upon these efforts and to show that lying to prevent the death of another innocent person could be required in Kantian terms. It argues (1) that our perfect Kantian duty of self-preservation can require our lying to save our own lives when threatened with unjust aggression and (2) that Kant's understanding of moral duty was that duties are symmetrical, such that if one has a duty to perform a given action on one's own behalf or to protect one's own rational nature, then one also has a duty to perform similar acts on other's behalf or to protect their rational nature. Thus, that the individual protected against aggression by means of deception is not oneself should be of no consequence from a Kantian perspective. Lying to the murderer is thus an extension of the Kantian requirement of self-defense.

Knowing What One Wants, KRISTA LAWLOR

Truth, Value and Epistemic Expressivism, MICHAEL P. LYNCH

Assertion and its Constitutive Norms, MICHAEL RESCORLA

Alston, Searle, and Williamson advocate the restrictive model of assertion according to which certain constitutive assertoric norms restrict which propositions one may assert. Sellars and Brandom advocate the dialectical model of assertion, which treats assertion as constituted by its role in the game of giving and asking for reasons. …

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